News & Analysis

5 crazy good stats following Week 10


In Week 10, Matt Johnson (QB, Bowling Green) had the most accurate passing game of any quarterback in the last two years.

Matt Johnson has done virtually everything right this season. He’s completed over 70 percent of his passes, thrown 33 touchdowns and only three interceptions. His game against Ohio in Week 10 was ridiculous. He was accurate on 96.6 percent of his passes. Of his 35 attempts, two were dropped, five were intentionally thrown away and one was batted down. Only one pass was determined to be off target. That is the most accurate passing week by any quarterback this season and last season.

That performance bumped Johnson to third in PFF's rankings with a grade of +35.0 on the season. Besides his Week 10 gem, Johnson has completed over 80 percent of his passes in two of his last four games. The next matchup to watch will be on Tuesday, November 17 against Toledo (our 20th-ranked pass defense).

Kentrell Brothers (LB, Missouri) leads all defensive players with 63 stops.

Brothers might be the most underrated linebacker in the country. He does it all. He has a positive grade for pass rushing, pass coverage and run defense. He leads the nation in tackles and quarterbacks have an NFL-style rating of 59.6 when he is targeted. Most importantly, he has recorded 63 stops through 10 weeks. Only 12 players had more than that total for the entire 2014 season. A stop is defined by PFF as a tackle that constitutes an offensive failure. High tackle totals can be misleading because they don’t take into account where on the field the tackle happened and what the situation was. Our analysts are able to identify tackles that disrupt what the offense is trying to do and label them a stop. Brothers not only leads the country in tackles, he leads in stops as well. Even after all of this, Brothers was not named as one of the ten Butkus Award finalists for 2015. Brothers is our second-highest graded linebacker at +28.2.

Aaron Burbridge (WR, Michigan State) has caught 100 percent of his catchable deep targets.

Connor Cook has thrown 15 catchable passes to Burbridge beyond 20 yards. He has caught every one of them. After a below average year in 2014 (-0.2), the senior from Farmington Hills is our third-ranked wide receiver at +22.5. He’s not just a deep threat either. Although he ranks first in the country in deep pass catch rate, he has the lowest deep target percentage of the next 22 ranked players. In 2014, current New York Jet and second round pick, Devin Smith, had the highest deep pass catch rate but 54 percent of his targets were beyond 20 yards. Burbridge is over 30 percentage points lower at 22 percent. Burbridge does most of his work under 20 yards but takes advantage when given the chance to go deep.

Leonard Fournette (RB, LSU) gained 97 percent of his yards after contact against Alabama.

Okay, I admit that stat is a little misleading. Fournette had only 31 yards on Saturday. But what it does tell you is Fournette had no room to work with. He gained one single yard all game before meeting a Crimson Tide defender. Running backs are extremely dependent on their offensive line (see Demarco Murray 2014 vs 2015). Fournette has been one big crazy stat all season. One game against an Alabama defense determined to shut down the run shouldn’t change anyone’s perception of Fournette. LSU’s run blocking grade was -15 on Saturday. Alabama’s run defense grade was +17.6. Fournette is our second-ranked running back at +30.5 so far this season. Arkansas might want to petition the NCAA to allow for a twelfth defender to stop the LSU running game on Saturday.

Marquez White (CB, Florida State) has allowed 0.33 yards per coverage snap.

The former four-star recruit is shutting people down. On 316 coverage snaps, he has allowed only 104 yards this season. There were eleven cornerbacks that gave up more than 104 yards last week. That is good for first in the country on a per snap basis. He also ranks first in coverage snaps per reception at 31.6. Opposing quarterbacks have an NFL-style rating of 31.4 when White is targeted. After playing in only five games as a sophomore, the junior from Dothan, AL has an overall grade of +9.

And last but no least… Ezekiel Elliott is still perfect in pass protection on 74 pass block snaps. He also moved into the top spot in PFF's running back rankings with a total grade of +30.9. No running back with at least 50 pass blocking snaps had a perfect pass protection score in 2014.

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